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Take it slow while dating Chinese girls

Peter Chen

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Illustration: Julie Peterson

My Chinese female friends told me that they allowed their boyfriends to hold their hands after dating for two months and to kiss them after half a year. I bluntly asked how long it would take for them to allow sex with their boyfriends. They said, “Never.”

My friend Dianna Alma, a sophomore at Whitman, however, told me that holding hands was not necessarily an indicator of a relationship.

“If a guy and girl express interest in each other, they will generally start holding hands together before they are officially in a relationship; they will probably kiss on the second or third date in a private setting; they will have sex around three months, depending how often they hang out or communicate with each other,” she said.

Obviously, sex is more accepted and common here. I asked my RA why condoms were provided everywhere in residential halls.

She giggled and said, “Just keep quiet if you bring someone back, and be safe.”

I agree that a relationship without sex is an ordeal of abstinence. But Chinese girls possess some reasons for their restraint.

China had a feudal society for over two thousand years. During this time women had few rights. Their parents decided their marriages. Some of them did not see their fiancés until the wedding day. A woman’s virginity was indispensable. If a man found his wife was not a virgin when they got married, he could kick her out. As a result, the woman would be discriminated against and would be regarded as a whore. She could not go back to live with her parents because it was such a humiliation. Most likely, she would end up selling her body at a whorehouse or committing suicide.

Changes in culture never happen overnight. These values have been passed on by generations. Therefore, virginity is still a big deal to most Chinese women, even though China is a very modernized country where fans are upgraded to air conditioners, black and white TVs are upgraded to LCD screens and mud houses are upgraded to skyscrapers.

If a Chinese girl were to have sex with her boyfriend, it would mean she thought of him as her prospective husband. So take it slow when you date a Chinese girl; she needs time to confirm that you are the one she wants to join for the rest of her life, not only in her bed.

Though sexual relationships are very different, most “couple activities” slide right through the culture barrier. Boyfriends and girlfriends hang out, watch movies, study, eat and travel together.  Chinese girls, however, may like to do a bit more shopping with their boyfriends.

In China, it’s not uncommon to see a girl walking down the street with a guy lagging behind with several shopping bags, or some guys sitting for hours in the shopping mall, playing on their cellphones while their girlfriends are trying on countless dresses and swiping their credit cards.

One might wonder who pays these bills. In China, a guy mostly pays the bills on dates, but he will not pay for his girlfriend’s shopping safaris unless the girl becomes his wife. Then he becomes an anxious husband, praying that his wife will show mercy to their bank account.

So guys, be patient when dating a Chinese girl: holding hands, kissing or sex might not happen anytime soon. Especially be truthful when dating a Chinese girl: her heart might be more fragile than her virginity.

The final paragraph of this article was edited by the Editor-in-Chief at 21:30 on 9 October, 2011.

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37 Responses to “Take it slow while dating Chinese girls”

  1. reader on October 7th, 2011 5:34 pm

    I feel a little offended after reading this article. Especially the comment near the end: “it might only take you one month to kiss her if you offer your credit card”. This is not only not true to most of the Chinese girls/women, also it seems really judgmental and rather unfair. Not all Chinese girls are gold-diggers. Not any that I know. The writer should really be more sensitive in conveying his personal opinions and be professional about telling stories. I’d suggest any writer to take caution in basing the entire opinion about somebody/something on merely a couple anecdotes and generalizing that to a whole different group. Modern Chinese women are just as independent financially as Western women, and the new generation is just as liberal in their relationships.


  2. reader on October 9th, 2011 1:16 am

    it is not true, as a Chinese girl


  3. reader on October 9th, 2011 1:23 pm

    Let’s not talk about how truthful this article is, first and foremost, there is no citation, quotation whatsoever on the “facts” in this article. Generalization is a huge problem in this article. What is the difference between gender/race discrimination compare to what the author has to offer in this article? How many Chinese girls has this author dated if any? How many credit cards has this author offered to Chinese girls in order to kiss/have sex with them? This is not just an opinion anymore, it’s ethically disrespectful. Who is to judge the morality of Chinese women? How many men has the author talked to who “kicked” their wives out? There is absolutely no data/evidential support whatsoever for this article with vast amount of generalization. Given that this article is under the “opinion” section, no one has the right to say that the author is wrong, but please, when writing an article, write truthfully. Please be respectful to others, well… that is, if you want others to respect you. If not, no one has anything to say about it.


  4. Anonymous on October 9th, 2011 7:33 pm

    As a Chinese girl, I find this article not only offensive but ignorant and untrue. Any girl of any race chooses her own values and morals and using the opinions of two people to generalize an entire race of women is unfair and unprofessional. I would suggest the writer take more time to do more in-depth research as well as use common sense as ask himself, “if someone said this about a group that I was apart of, how would I feel?” There’s a fine line between printing the truth–no matter how hard it is to read–and printing an article that is held up by flimsy evidence.


  5. Reader on October 9th, 2011 8:15 pm

    Concluding more than a half billion women to share exact same characteristic seems irresponsible.

    People who read this article please judge the case by your own.


  6. Reader on October 10th, 2011 2:12 pm

    It is obvious that the author of this artical is irrational since he has made a serious logical fallacy as overgeneralization. One or two Chinese girls’ examples cannot represent the behavior of whole race. I hope other readers won’t consider this as the stereotype of Chinese guys’ writing or thinking style.


  7. Anon Professor on October 10th, 2011 3:40 pm

    This article is deeply offensive in several different ways:

    Firstly, it appears to be an editorial geared towards helping men get into women’s pants. Surely this is subject matter more appropriate for illicit circulation by groups of wayward and hard-up men with a reductive view of the role women can play in their lives than it is for the college newspaper! Shame on the Pio for commissioning such a piece!

    Secondly, it is irresponsible and downright essentialist to suggest that all Chinese women share exactly the same attitudes to men, morality and money. Such generalizations are unhelpful, orientalist and just a wee bit racist.

    Thirdly, the tacit claim of this piece is that Chinese women are unusually concerned about their virtue and being depicted as whores, AND that if men spend a little money on these women, they will, in fact give it up. So ultimately, the claim is that Chinese women (all 0.5 billion of them!) are essentially whorish and inclined to trade sex for shopping sprees. This is an unacceptable and unacceptably sexist and racist claim.

    I know that Whitman students are smarter and more culturally savvy than this. Let’s see more evidence of this in the Pio.


  8. student on October 11th, 2011 9:11 pm

    “So guys, be patient when dating a Chinese girl—holding hands, kissing or sex might not happen anytime soon. Especially be truthful when dating a Chinese girl—her heart might be more fragile than her virginity.”

    Was the article altered?

    I believe in the original, there was a second sentence that indicated that if a boyfriend of a Chinese woman bought his partner’s shopping expenses, the woman would be more likely to kiss the man in a shorter amount of time.

    This was the portion that really pushed me over the edge and I completely understand why it was deleted though I’m not sure if that is journalistically ethical.

    The argument essentializes “Chinese girls”, assumes a normal timeline for sexual activity between a man and a woman that is based on an American or Western standard, and then emphasizes the importance of shopping to couples in China.

    Though I’m sure it is common to see couples shopping, I doubt the majority of couples depend on shopping as an activity that aids the material wealth of women as the man benefits sexually after the expenses are paid. Also, what about those couples in China who cannot afford the luxury of time and material wealth to go on these shopping safaris? Do they never have sex? Or do they just not constitute as a typical Chinese couple? I do not see how the argument benefits from the discussion of the role of shopping and money to dating practices, even if it were written with more finesse.

    The idea for this article is fundamentally regressive and offensive. I question how it was approved at the beginning of the production process.


  9. Some Unpretentious Professor on October 14th, 2011 2:30 pm

    Maybe we should be emphasizing critical thinking on this campus rather than the new branding campaign– “unpretentious northwest culture.” Obviously, the author hasn’t taken the mission of this college to heart. This article is a disappointment and an embarrassment to the college.


  10. name on October 14th, 2011 3:35 pm

    Dear Pioneer,

    There are several things I would like to say regarding this article. I don’t know what kind of newspaper the Pioneer is, I don’t know what kind of ethics the Pioneer advocates, I don’t know what kind of reporters/writers the Pioneer hires (I know I am making generalization, now you know how you feel about it, right?) In my opinion, the Pioneer does NOT deserve respect of students, especially after publishing this article. I cannot believe something like this would happen on the Whitman campus.

    Now to the author, I also noticed that this article has been altered during the week, WHY? Is it that you can’t take peoples’ criticism? then why do you write this to begin with? I don’t have any respect for you to begin with anyways, but now that you changed the article, I feel even more disgusted with you. We, the people of Whitman College, deserve an apology from you, and the Pio.

    A student-run newspaper should protect its student, a student-run newspaper should have ethics. Obviously you DONT have either.


  11. Sara Rasmussen on October 14th, 2011 4:01 pm

    Concerned commenters,
    Thank you for your input on this column. The final paragraph of the article was indeed altered by the Editor-in-Chief on Oct. 9. We have updated the article to recognize this.

    Columns in The Pioneer reflect solely the opinion of the author. Opinions expressed in columns do not reflect the policies or opinion of the paper as a whole.

    If you would like to submit a guest column or letter to the editor on this topic, we encourage their submission to the Editor-in-Chief at [email protected].

    Thank you for your feedback,
    Sara Rasmussen
    Web editor


  12. Gary Wang, former Pio editor on October 16th, 2011 8:59 am

    I’m honestly surprised that the Pioneer decided to publish this. I wonder what the author said to the opinion editor during the production process? Because literally, I cannot imagine a justifiable rationale for this article, as it is written.

    Yes, it may be true in a “this article can’t get the Pio in trouble with school rules and ASWC sense” that the opinions expressed in this article do not reflect an endorsement by the Pioneer…but this is an article that is posted on the internet for the rest of the world to see (see: potential high school applicants), and like it or not, it reflects poorly on Whitman because it displays all the hallmarks of whatever is the “opposite” of critical thinking: over the top generalizations, reducing women by only discussing them in terms of male desire, lack of evidence to support “asssertions”, and a premise that has all sorts of oppressive connotations (aka: the tone of friendly advice to guys on understanding the “mysterious” oriental land populated by Chinese women).

    Aside from the irony of a man speaking on behalf of Chinese women as a whole, aside from the point that this article seems to be a “how to date successfully a Chinese girl manual”, the question I want to raise is that the process behind this article’s publication should be held accountable. Obviously, the author wrote it alone (I hope) but what about the editing process? Don’t all articles go through content editing, copy editing, and a final look over by the production staff?

    Did no one in Reid 202 on a Wednesday night ever stop and think, wait people might be offended by this article, and not-in-the “greek pride vs indy” tradition…Or better yet, if people did anticipate fellow whitman students and alumni would be offended, then, did whoever allow this article to be published, consider the merits of other people’s possible objections?

    It’s ludicrous for the Pioneer to disavow all responsibility for this article under the guise of a bland statement because like it or not, this article is on the website published by the Whitman Pioneer and not the Onion.

    While a paper that publishes an opinion piece does not off course endorse all of its content, the paper presumably thinks at the very minimum, that the opinion piece in question deserves to be published and for what end? For the purpose of contributing to public discussion…Well, so what discourse could the Pioneer possibly thought that this opinion piece was contributing towards? How to contribute to an already long laundry list of stereotypes about Chinese women and Chinese men and their sexuality?

    Well, in some ways, this may be the best non-example for the above that I hope can serve as a educational warning to future writers. Be self-aware about how others will receive your prose. I’m embarrassed as someone who worked for the Pio for several years in numerous positions that this is published.

    And as someone who is currently living in rural China, I can’t imagine how the women described in the article would react to reading it.


  13. Rachel Alexander on October 16th, 2011 5:50 pm

    I second Gary’s comments. As a former Pioneer editor, I’m disappointed and embarrassed to see this published. While the opinions may be those of the author in question, choosing to publish this piece at all legitimizes a point of view which reduces half a billion women to a series of unflattering and inaccurate stereotypes. That’s both sexist and unprofessional. I hope that in the future, opinion columns will reflect better on the Pio. I would hate to see people stop reading all the well-written and informative articles because they’re put off by content like this.


  14. Sam Reeves on October 18th, 2011 9:30 am

    I am also dismayed.

    I’m dismayed that my previous comment didn’t get published even though I referenced a study I myself conducted related to Chinese girls.

    Seems to me free speech is only alive and well if it is politically correct, and not confirming some aspects of a controversial topic.

    To Gary Wang: The women would act just fine to it! Trust me, I know. Give it a try why don’t you (I have).

    They are not American women. As per-usual it seems everyone ‘has to’ have the gift of western native English speaking nations rights and values.

    ps. To the person who didn’t publish my previous response: Shame on you….


    Sara Rasmussen Reply:

    Dear Sam,
    We have been having some problems with the plug-in that moderates comments on The Pioneer’s website, causing many comments to be lost. This error was happening consistently through Oct. 7. It’s very likely that your comment was also lost, and for that I apologize. I would highly encourage you to try resubmitting it, if you so wish. Hopefully this time it will work.
    Sara Rasmussen
    Web editor


  15. Reply to Sam Reeves on October 20th, 2011 1:59 pm

    In response to Sam Reeves:
    “They are not American women. As per-usual it seems everyone ‘has to’ have the gift of western native English speaking nations rights and values. ”

    You should probably clarify what you meant by that, and at the same time, I don’t think you, as a reader who (I believe) is not a Chinese girl, has full ground to speak for them. As a person who claimed that he had conducted “a study” related to Chinese girls, your comment just sounds very pitiful.

    “Trust me, I know. Give it a try why don’t you (I have).” I don’t trust that you know.


  16. name on October 21st, 2011 6:49 am

    I think that generalising something the norm in the west. But in this situation, it’s more to give a general idea of people or places. Rather than saying “everyone and every place IS exactly like this, etc”. We all know everyone is different, of course!

    Obviously with this article, the author was just trying to help those of us ‘Lao Wai’s’ in China who are dating or who are interested in dating a Chinese woman.

    I have a Chinese girlfriend. We haven’t had sex togeather yet and are taking it slow. She is not the ‘normal’ or ‘standard’ Chinese girl. She smokes.

    Now to a lot of Chinese, a girl who smokes is a bad girl (Though she isn’t a bad girl.). But China is changing.

    20 years ago, maybe less/more, correct me if I’m wrong, but to hold hands or kiss in public, It was something you didn’t do. Now it is slowly changing. Like they said, “Cultures changes never happen overnight.”. Look at my country, England in the 1960’s.

    To go out with a boy or girl without your parents permission was very bad. Homosexual acts were illegal until the mid-sixties. Now to have sex every night with someone is something you can do.

    China is in the same spot England was in the 1960’s. It is going through that change.

    Oh, and the generlisation was not that unprofessional. Yes, it’s maybe insensitive, but if you went to the U.K to generalise people sometimes is common. It may be rude, but I walk down the streets here in China and everyone stares at me. I think sometimes thats rude and down right insensitive, but it’s not wrong. It’s just the way Chinese sometimes are. So I accept that. 99% of the time however, I find Chinese people friendly and helpful. 🙂

    The article was not ment to be rude, just some helpful advice. And the comment about;
    “It might only take you one month to kiss her if you offer your credit card”.

    I find that funny. But thats where the article is insensitive. Different countries have different senses of humor. I am English, to me that made me chuckle. But I can understand to some Chinese, it was out of hand.

    I could just end my opinion by saying, “Hey everyone, ligthen up you miserable c***s! (I censored it myself!) it’s only words!” But again, different cultures and people mean some will disagree.

    So I will end by saying, next time you speak or write about other cultures or cross culture issues, Think very carefully about what your want to say. Even the stupidest thing can offend someone.


  17. Jimmy on October 31st, 2011 3:01 pm

    “Hey everyone, lighten up you miserable c***s!”
    Things like, the humor of this article, is what you have to learn to accept if you really want to take pride in calling yourself a cosmopolitan culture.


  18. Anon O Mouse on November 1st, 2011 5:03 am

    This whole article is one big fail, but I guess when no one really cares about your school newspaper you have to do something to get people’s attention. Hey, it got me to leave a response! But yeah, all in all, this is a very bad look for for a liberal arts school who is already lacking in the “journalism” department.


  19. Recent Alumnus on November 1st, 2011 7:31 pm

    Back in 2008 we took a day off from classes to talk about an April Fool’s Day article about Native Americans taking over the campus. April Fool’s Day. Tongue firmly planted in cheek. This article just seems like a general advice column based firmly in the writer’s own head.

    Y’know, this was going to be a curmudgeonly rant about how young people never learn (and need to get off my Ankeny lawn) but the real moral is, don’t cancel classes to talk about whatever racist thing the Pio wrote this year. The people you’re trying to educate use that time to sleep, or smoke a bowl and write another article like this one.

    Besides the obvious incentive problem (“I plan on being hung over next Thursday… Hey buddy, wanna write a *really funny* joke in the paper?”) having a symposium every time someone mentions this article lends it a level of credence. Racist or otherwise offensive Pio articles don’t merit hostility or alarm. They merit ridicule and dismissal. That’s how you’re going to disarm these notions. Anyway, that was about three years too late. Cheers.


  20. Anon-professor on November 1st, 2011 8:35 pm

    Hey all,

    Concerned reader here. I just wanted to let everyone know that people are reading this article, and people do have opinions about it.


  21. Whtman Stdent on November 2nd, 2011 4:26 pm

    I would like to point to the need for some shame on to you all! The author of this article was only trying to give the help to all of us!

    The article helped me, for one, feel much better about myself! I have asian girlfriend who has only wanted to hold the hands for some time now (which is fine 🙂 ), but my friends dating the girls from America start to do other things much faster and I start to wonder – is it me?? This article made me feel much better about my situation!

    Thank you Pio!!


  22. Reply to on November 2nd, 2011 7:36 pm

    I agree compoletely.


  23. Random Person on November 4th, 2011 3:41 pm


    Way to be super embarrassing, Whitman.


  24. Former passerby on November 4th, 2011 7:10 pm

    Peter Peter, you are playing “Chinese irony” too much, and people rarely understand.
    It really tells your understanding of girls and life. The idea of writing this topic is fantastic! But, seriously, show some respect, not only to the Asian girls, but also to writing as a journalistic person 🙂


  25. Living Guangzhou on December 17th, 2011 9:31 pm

    Oh, the list of offenses and politically incorrect points of view are nearly endless. What a shame none of the whining, whinging crowd and especially girls, as they call themselves in China, have any information to contribute about Chinese women and dating laowei in China. As ever, easy to criticize, difficult to lead.


  26. COLUMINIST-The Pioneer « Peter's Interactive CV on February 18th, 2013 7:14 am
  27. COLUMINIST-The Pioneer « Peter's Interactive CV on February 18th, 2013 9:28 am

    […] Take it slow while dating Chinese girls […]

  28. Robert on May 30th, 2013 12:44 am

    It’s not even a matter of patience, it’s a matter of never.


  29. audrey on August 5th, 2013 2:26 pm

    i agree with this article. except the part about money. i only experienced that when dating billionare taiwanese boys and i did not fall for the money.

    i think being slow is a good thing. everyone is so fast in america now, no one respects themselves or one another.


  30. asian kisses dating site | on February 13th, 2014 11:56 pm

    […] Take it slow while dating Chinese girls “If a guy and girl express interest in each other, they will generally start holding hands together before they are officially in a relationship; they will probably kiss on the second or third date in a private setting; they will have sex around three … Read more on Whitman Pioneer […]

  31. Wayne on February 17th, 2014 5:21 am

    Whilst I don’t think this is representative of half a billion chinese women, I think the author is copping way too much flak for what essentially are some good points made.

    A lot of Chinese girls are way too materialistic these days especially in the big cities and have adopted a shallow and cold existence of blank expressions, brand name handbags and frankly…a lack of real personality or feminine caring and warmth. Coupled with bird-like diets resulting in stick thin, childlike bodies devoid of breasts or ass, it makes for a sorry existence. But hey, there’s a legion of chinese guys happy to oblige and yes pay the bills and indulge them whilst banging hookers on the side.

    BTW, I’m a Chinese dude and I’m so disappointed in how a significant portion of the youth are turning out


  32. dude on April 29th, 2014 6:06 pm

    I had been with different Chinese girls and most of them are friendly and lovely and respect the person , but too much demand ..one girl said the girl who have grown in traditional families are most demanded . if you don’t open your wallet they will not respect you. However, the modern Chinese girl, always ask you a favor and when you unable to do the favor they will did prospect you..and they don’t care about anything just there future….


  33. daisy on August 4th, 2014 8:15 pm

    cant agree more


  34. joe on August 6th, 2014 4:11 am

    I am greatly offended by this. My girlfriend is from Baoji Shaanxi Province. She is nothing like what is described in this column. She does not want money. She is only wishes I am a man in every aspect. We plan for the future and I am moving to Shanghai in 8 months to live and begin the process of earning her parents approval.
    This is wrong.


  35. Benji on May 21st, 2015 7:42 am

    Yes dating a Chinese girl may be a bit difficult. Because they have values in themselves to do something for their life. So be prepare if you ever have a chance to date a Chinese woman now or in the future. Not all Chinese women are all golddiggers so don’t talked bad about to the Asian women. Many of the women are educated went to school to study something. As well working hard at the same time so just to let you all know.


  36. Kevin on October 9th, 2015 2:32 pm

    To be fare the author does a decent job of describing the culture as a whole. Of course generalizations are never 100% correct(lol). The culture in China today is still sexually repressed, and to give anecdotal evidence an exchange student I spoke with views sex as something scary! Because she is Buddhist she only sees it as a way of reproduction opposed to pleasure.


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Take it slow while dating Chinese girls